At this point, SIM cards have been around for just over 30 years. Even though they’ve gotten smaller over time, they still work the same way: you put the card into your phone to join. Changing your phone? Simply change the SIM card. Even though this is an easy way to do things, it might not last very long. eSIM is to blame for that. eSIM is a new standard that is supposed to completely replace SIM cards.
Apple said that the iPhone 14 series sold in the US will no longer have a real SIM card slot. During setup, you must instead download an eSIM card. not sure what it says? Here’s everything you need to know about eSIM, including which devices besides the newest phones can use it.
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What is an eSIM card?
A chip in your phone that works like a real SIM card is called an embedded SIM, or eSIM. If you want to move cell networks, you don’t have to get a new SIM card. Instead, you can add an eSIM card to your phone. Because everything is done online, you don’t have to meet up to trade cards.
eSIMs are sometimes called eUICC, which stands for “embedded universal integrated circuit card.” But it’s still the same thing: it’s a chip that lets you connect to a cell network.
How Does eSIM Work?
The only difference is that an eSIM is built into your phone and can’t be removed. So, if you have an iPhone 11 eSIM plan, you don’t have to change SIM cards to switch to a new network when you move abroad. Instead, you can download an eSIM card by scanning a QR code or using an app.
Then you choose your prepaid eSIM plan, and you’re good to go. Now that you have a pay-as-you-go eSIM, you won’t have to pay big roaming data fees when you go on vacation or work trips abroad. No matter where you are, you can join a new network in just a few minutes without having to go to a store or wait for a new SIM card to arrive in the mail.
Basically, an eSIM lets you connect to a second (or third or fourth) cell network without switching SIM cards. This means that you can use the same phone to connect to different networks. By downloading an eSIM card, you can join a group of people who can use more than one network.
How Can eSIMs Benefit Me?
Let’s say you have two phones, one for work and one for personal use. You can connect both lines to your device if it has an eSIM slot. This makes it easy and convenient to switch between the two lines right from your phone. You save money with eSIM because you don’t have to buy two different devices.
eSIMs are helpful for small, medium, and large businesses because they let you change or update wireless service directly on multiple lines at once, whether you have five workers or 5,000.
When you go to a different country, you no longer have to buy a second real SIM card. With an eSIM, you can quickly add a foreign plan to your device that will work as soon as you get to another country. This makes it easy to do a lot of different things.
When you use eSIM with the Un-Carrier (that’s us! ), one of the best things is that you can try our network for free for three months before you decide to switch. Then, switching between up to five phone lines will be easy and take less than a minute. By downloading the app, you can find out if your device works with T-Mobile and start using it right away.
Which Devices Support eSIM?
Even though eSIM has been around for a while, it took the smartphone business a long time to start using it. This is because it took a long time for many foreign companies to adapt to the new standard. So, smartphone makers have continued to play it safe by including both a real SIM card and the ability to use an eSIM.
In general, eSIM support is more likely to be in high-end, expensive devices that are popular in the US and EU. Some of the first phones with eSIM were made by Google and Apple. In 2017, the Pixel 2 came out, and in 2018, the iPhone XS did.
Soon after, Samsung did the same thing, but only on high-end devices like the Galaxy S and Note lines. Many of the best smartphones sold in North America and Europe today support eSIM, and so do all smartwatches with LTE.
eSIM can now be used on some mid-range phones, like the Pixel 6a. Still, the only way to know for sure is to look at the smartphone’s specs page. eSIM is used by Google, Apple, and Samsung, but not by many other companies. There are still phones made by Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus that use real SIM cards.
Also, eSIM doesn’t work with iPhones sold in China. But the tool business is a little different. Even before the Apple Watch could use LTE, Samsung was the first company to offer eSIM functions. Most trackers that can connect to cell phone networks today use eSIMs.
We’ve already said that eSIM support is expected to be available on portable computers like tablets and laptops. For example, both the Galaxy Book Go and the Surface Pro X can use eSIM cards.
How to Manually Activate an eSIM on Android and iOS?
Getting an eSIM to work on your computer is pretty easy. You can either start a new line or switch from a real SIM card to get one.
When you ask for an eSIM, your service provider will send you an email or put a QR code on their website. Depending on the service, the exact steps will be different, but you should be able to find them online.
Do the following once your service provider gives you the QR code:
- Tap Connections or Network & Internet after you open the Settings app.
- You can get a SIM card or join a cell network.
- Click on Add cell plan or Download SIM card.
- Just do what it says on the screen and read the QR code when it tells you to.
- The names of the settings might be different depending on the type of phone you have and how the software is set up, but the process should be mostly the same.
- Open the app Camera.
- Use the camera on your phone to read the QR code.
- Tap on the message that says “Cellular Plan Detected.”
- Follow the on-screen directions and make sure the new thing is right.
In the United States, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, which are the three largest companies, all accept eSIM. Even though Apple took the SIM card hole out of the iPhone 14 for the US market, a lot of MVNOs still accept it. E-SIM can be used by Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile, Visible, Xfinity Mobile, and Google Fi.
If you’re not sure if your phone will work with a service, most of them have online tools that can tell you. Outside of the US, people are becoming more interested in eSIM, but this isn’t always a good thing.
Most of the time, bigger networks are more likely to be able to do it than smaller ones. In many European countries, you might not be able to switch away from an eSIM if you use a discount service like Lyca Mobile, Tesco Mobile, or Lidl Connect.